Todd Van Poppel

Todd Matthew Van Poppel (born December 9, 1971) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Oakland Athletics (1991, 1993-1996), Detroit Tigers (1996), Texas Rangers (1998, 2002-2003), Pittsburgh Pirates (1998), Chicago Cubs (2000-2001), and Cincinnati Reds (2003-2004). He retired during spring training with the New York Mets in 2005.

Todd Van Poppel
Born: December 9, 1971 (age 47)
Hinsdale, Illinois
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 11, 1991, for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2004, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Win–loss record40–52
Earned run average5.58

Amateur career

Van Poppel was 11-3 with a 0.97 earned run average (ERA) and 170 strikeouts as a senior at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. He was drafted in the first round, 14th overall, by the Athletics directly out of high school in the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft. The Atlanta Braves had seriously considered using the first overall selection on Van Poppel. However, when Van Poppel explicitly told the Braves he would not sign with them, the team opted instead to take Chipper Jones.[1]

Professional career

Van Poppel was the first of four starting pitchers selected by the A's in the first 36 picks of the 1990 draft, referred to at the time as "The Four Aces". The other three draftees were Don Peters, Dave Zancanaro and Kirk Dressendorfer. All four struggled with injuries after being drafted, and only Van Poppel and Dressendorfer ever reached the major leagues.[2]

Because Van Poppel was signed to a major league contract rather than the standard minor league contract, the A's only had a limited number of minor league options they could use on him. By all accounts, his lack of seasoning in the minors cost both the A's and Van Poppel. He pitched just 37.2 innings in Single-A in 1990, spent 1991 at Double-A Huntsville, and was hurt for much of 1992 at Triple-A Tacoma before splitting time between Oakland and Tacoma in 1993. In all, he made only 32 minor league starts.[3][4]

Armed with a blazing fastball that had little movement, Van Poppel struggled with the A's. His best season in Oakland was probably 1995, when he went 4-8 with a 4.88 ERA, splitting time as a starter and a reliever. He also notched 122 strikeouts (and 56 walks) in 138.1 innings that year.

In 1996, his numbers dropped sharply, and he was released by the A's mid-season. After unremarkable stops in Detroit, Texas and Pittsburgh, Van Poppel did have two successful years (2000 and 2001) as a middle reliever with the Cubs, before his effectiveness declined.

Van Poppel's career record was 40-52. He never won more than seven games in a season.


Shortly after his retirement from baseball in 2005, Van Poppel announced he was investing in the Denton Outlaws, a Texas Collegiate League team. The Outlaws went on to win the league championship that year.[5]


  1. ^ Bowman, Mark (July 28, 2018). "Chipper a wise choice for Braves in 1990 Draft". Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Melissa Lockard. Blast from the Past: Q&A with Kirk Dressendorfer, December 16, 2004. Archived October 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Todd Van Poppel,, 2004.
  4. ^ Kevin T. Czerwinski. Mets sign veteran Van Poppel, Press Release, 2005.
  5. ^ Brett Vito. Baseball: Van Poppel to invest in Outlaws,, May 17, 2005.

External links

1990 Major League Baseball draft

The 1990 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft was held in June 1990. The draft placed amateur baseball players onto major league teams. 1,487 players were distributed to 26 teams. The draft consisted of first round selections, supplemental first round selections, compensation picks, and many more rounds, in fact, it went a record 101 rounds with 40 first round selections. With a league-worst record of 63 wins and 97 losses in the 1989 MLB Season, the Atlanta Braves selected shortstop, Chipper Jones out of the Bolles School with the first pick of the draft. 9 NBA and NFL players were drafted in 1990. 7 of the first 10 picks were selected directly out of high school.

1993 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1993 season was the team's 26th in Oakland, California. It was also the 93rd season in franchise history. The team finished seventh in the American League West with a record of 68-94.

The Athletics' disastrous 1993 campaign was mired by inconsistency, injuries, and free agent losses. The team lost key contributors Dave Stewart, Harold Baines, and Mike Moore to free agency; the players ended up (respectively) in Toronto, Chicago, and Detroit. The A's also traded Walt Weiss to the expansion Florida Marlins for Scott Baker and Eric Hefland. The Athletics' roster was further weakened by the retirement of longtime third baseman Carney Lansford.

The team's depleted pitching staff was no match for its American League (AL) competition. The Athletics, following a resurgent 1992 campaign, finished 1993 with a team ERA of 4.90; this was the worst such figure in the AL. The futility of Oakland's new-look starting rotation was especially noteworthy; of the team's five primary starters (Bobby Witt, Ron Darling, Bob Welch, Todd Van Poppel, and Shawn Hillegas), only one (Witt) managed a sub-5.00 ERA. On offense, the Athletics also struggled; the loss of their two best players (Mark McGwire and Rickey Henderson) to injury and a trade, respectively, contributed to their scoring only 715 runs (10th of 14 AL teams).

The Athletics' 68-94 finish was their worst since 1982. Moreover, the 1993 Athletics (as of 2018) remain the only team in Oakland history to finish last in the AL West after finishing first one-year earlier.

1996 Detroit Tigers season

The 1996 Detroit Tigers had a record of 53–109 for the third worst winning percentage (.327) in team history. With a number of capable batters (Cecil Fielder, Tony Clark, Bobby Higginson, Alan Trammell, Rubén Sierra, and Damion Easley), the team scored a respectable 783 runs. However, the 1996 Tigers lacked pitching and allowed their opponents to score 1,103 runs. No team in American League history and only one in major league history (the 1930 Philadelphia Phillies) has given up more runs. No pitcher on the team had more than 7 wins. Of the games the Tigers lost, 58 were by four or more runs, a record for the number of games lost by such a margin. The Tigers made more unwanted history when they were swept 12–0 by the Cleveland Indians in the regular season series, losing all twelve games played while being outscored, 79–28.

1997 Anaheim Angels season

The Anaheim Angels 1997 season involved the Angels finishing 2nd in the American League West with a record of 84 wins and 78 losses. It was the first season for the franchise as the "Anaheim Angels", after playing under the name of the "California Angels" for the previous 31 seasons, plus part of another.

1997 Kansas City Royals season

The 1997 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 5th in the American League Central with a record of 67 wins and 94 losses.

1997 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 1997 season involved the Rangers finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. Despite not making the playoffs the club would set an all-time attendance record of over 2.945 million fans, which would be the franchise's best until 2011.

On a somber note, the club would lose long-time radio broadcaster Mark Holtz to leukemia during the season; however, in his final game in May the Rangers won, allowing him to sign off one final time with his trademark "Hello Win Column!".

1998 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1998 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 117th season of the franchise; the 112th in the National League. This was their 29th season at Three Rivers Stadium. The Pirates finished sixth and last in the National League Central with a record of 69–93.

1998 Texas Rangers season

The 1998 Texas Rangers season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 88 wins and 74 losses. It would be the team's second post-season appearance, but the team would be swept 3-0 by the New York Yankees.

2000 Chicago Cubs season

The 2000 Chicago Cubs season was the 129th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 125th in the National League and the 85th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished sixth and last in the National League Central with a record of 65–97.

During this season, the Cubs played in the first game held outside North America on Opening Day. The Cubs played the New York Mets in front of over 55,000 at the Tokyodome in Japan. The Cubs won the game by a score of 5-3.

2001 Chicago Cubs season

The 2001 Chicago Cubs season was the 130th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 126th in the National League and the 86th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished third in the National League Central with a record of 88–74.

2002 Major League Baseball draft

The 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft, was held on June 4 and 5.

It is featured in Michael Lewis' 2003 book Moneyball.

2002 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 2002 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 72 wins and 90 losses.

2003 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 2003 season consisted of the Reds finishing in fifth place in the National League Central division, as they moved their home games from Cinergy Field to their brand new Great American Ball Park.

2003 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 2003 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 71 wins and 91 losses.

2004 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 2004 season included the Reds' fourth-place in the National League Central division.

Charlotte Rangers

The Charlotte Rangers, based in Port Charlotte, Florida, were an American minor league baseball team that existed from 1987 through 2002. The team played at Charlotte County Stadium as a Class A Florida State League affiliate of the Texas Rangers, who at the time made their spring training base in Port Charlotte.

During their 16-year history, the Charlotte Rangers won two FSL championships (1989 and 2002) and sent players such as Juan González, Iván Rodríguez, Kenny Rogers, Kevin Brown and Carlos Peña to Major League Baseball.

When the parent Rangers moved their spring training operation to Arizona in 2003, the Charlotte franchise was sold to the St. Louis Cardinals and moved across the state to Jupiter, Florida, where it plays as the Palm Beach Cardinals.

The Charlotte Stone Crabs, FSL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, eventually replaced the Rangers, moving from Vero Beach in 2009.

Madison Muskies

The Madison Muskies were a Class A minor league baseball team that played in the Midwest League from 1982 to 1993 in Madison, Wisconsin.

In 1993, the team relocated to Comstock Park, Michigan and became today's West Michigan Whitecaps. The Muskies were an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The team, which was founded by Madison entrepreneur Ed Janus played at Breese Stevens Field and Warner Park.

The debut Muskies team had a league-best 87-52 record, 6.5 games ahead of the Appleton Foxes in the North Division, however, they lost the Midwest League championship to the Foxes 2 games to 1. Romano, a Muskies outfielder, was the Midwest League Most Valuable Player in 1982. In 1991, they made their second and last championship appearance, this time losing to the Clinton Giants 3 games to 0.The Muskies played their last home game in Madison against the Foxes in 1993. In a driving rainstorm, with Appleton leading 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Foxes' pitcher slipped on the mound and his manager requested that the game be called. After a second slip, the umpire called the game, ending the Muskies' Madison tenure in anticlimactic fashion: Madison's final home game ended with one out in the bottom of the ninth, with the potential tying run coming to bat.

They finished their 12-year run in Madison with an 860-786 record, .522 winning percentage, including three division titles and four second-place finishes.

Martin High School (Arlington, Texas)

James Martin High School (Martin) is a secondary school serving grades 9 through 12 in Arlington, Texas, United States. It is part of the Arlington Independent School District. The school's mascot is the Warrior, and its colors are black, red, and silver.

Van Poppel

Van Poppel is a Dutch toponymic surname, meaning "from Poppel", a village on the Belgian-Dutch border. Notable people with the surname include:

Boy van Poppel (born 1988), Dutch racing cyclist, son of Jean-Paul

Danny van Poppel (born 1993), Dutch racing cyclist, son of Jean-Paul

Jean-Paul van Poppel (born 1962), Dutch racing cyclist

Michael van Poppel (born 1989), Dutch journalist

Todd Van Poppel (born 1971), American baseball player

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